A number of research firms have changed their ratings and price targets for Pinnacle Foods (NYSE: PF):

  • 10/31/2017 – Pinnacle Foods was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating. According to Zacks, “Pinnacle Foods’ focus on achieving growth via buyouts has been driving results for quite some time. Also, the company, which has surpassed the industry over a year, has been gaining from productivity initiatives. These factors helped the company post solid third-quarter 2017 results even amid hurdles related to Aunt Jemima’s exit; shutdown of Boulder UK operations, SKU rationalization program and impacts from hurricanes. Both earnings and sales topped estimates and bottom line retained its robust year-over-year growth trend. However, the aforementioned obstacles dented the top line, and the Specialty Foods unit continued to be challenged in the third quarter. Also, high marketing expenses and input cost inflation remain concerns. Nonetheless, management remains impressed with the company’s strong third-quarter in-market performance. Despite the current barriers, management expects earnings to jump 19% in 2017.”
  • 10/27/2017 – Pinnacle Foods had its price target lowered by analysts at Buckingham Research from $68.00 to $62.00. They now have a “buy” rating on the stock.
  • 10/27/2017 – Pinnacle Foods had its price target lowered by analysts at Credit Suisse Group from $64.00 to $60.00. They now have an “outperform” rating on the stock.
  • 10/17/2017 – Pinnacle Foods was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating. They now have a $64.00 price target on the stock. According to Zacks, “Shares of Pinnacle Foods have outperformed the industry in the past year, primarily owing to a solid brand portfolio and robust strategic initiatives. Also, the company has been innovating products to offer variety and maintain market share. Moreover, it has been carrying out various acquisitions to grow its distribution network and customer base. Notable acquisitions include Boulder Brands and Duncan Hines. Additionally, Pinnacle Foods has an operational excellence program designed to generate annual productivity savings across the supply chain, which remains encouraging. However, the company’s Specialty segment has been witnessing sluggishness for quite some time and is expected to remain challenging in 2017. Also, its Pickle business is depicting weakness due to continued competitive environment in the form of pricing and innovation. Estimates have been stable ahead of the company’s third-quarter earnings release.”
  • 10/4/2017 – Pinnacle Foods had its price target lowered by analysts at Credit Suisse Group from $65.00 to $64.00. They now have an “outperform” rating on the stock.

Pinnacle Foods (NYSE:PF) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The company reported $0.58 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.58. Pinnacle Foods had a return on equity of 14.63% and a net margin of 5.65%. The business had revenue of $749.80 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $753.10 million. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.53 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.2% on a year-over-year basis.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, October 9th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, August 29th were issued a $0.325 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Friday, August 25th. This represents a $1.30 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.39%. This is an increase from Pinnacle Foods’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.29. Pinnacle Foods’s payout ratio is currently 87.84%.

In other news, EVP Christopher J. Boever sold 26,682 shares of Pinnacle Foods stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $59.02, for a total value of $1,574,771.64. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 66,296 shares in the company, valued at $3,912,789.92. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, CFO Craig D. Steeneck sold 33,095 shares of Pinnacle Foods stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $59.61, for a total value of $1,972,792.95. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 204,364 shares in the company, valued at approximately $12,182,138.04. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 76,950 shares of company stock worth $4,588,273. Company insiders own 1.34% of the company’s stock.

Pinnacle Foods Inc is a manufacturer, marketer and distributor of branded food products in North America. The Company operates through four segments: Frozen segment, the Grocery segment, the Boulder segment and the Specialty segment. Its products are sold through supermarkets, grocery wholesalers and distributors, mass merchandisers, super centers, convenience stores, dollar stores, drug stores and warehouse clubs in the United States and Canada, as well as in military channels and foodservice locations.

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